Algae-powered building in the works

The stuff you clean off the inside of your goldfish bowl may soon power an entire office building.

Austrian-based Splitterwerk Architects has come up with a building concept called BIQ, which uses panels full of green algae to generate the building’s energy needs. The designers will submit their idea at the International Building Exhibition in Hamburg next year.

The building is surrounded by louvers filled with microalgae. To the outside observer, these louvers look like long green panels, shading the building and filtering in soft, greenish light, making the atmosphere in BIQ less abrasive than your typical florescent-lit office. As the algae grow and photosynthesize, reactors trap the heat they create, which can be turned into energy for the building.

Splitterwerk is working with Strategic Science Consult of Germany, ARUP and Colt International to develop the technology.



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